An evening of discussion, reflection and action. Ajamu Baraka is the National Organizer of the Black Alliance for
Statement from the Canadian Peace Congress: (PDF) The recent violent protests in Hong Kong have focussed on the
Concerns are growing across this country about the disturbing tilt in Canadian foreign policy toward increasing militarization and
Canada has ended its active role in the destructive and illegal bombing of Syria. This shows that public opposition to the airstrikes, along with the Syrian people’s resistance to both terrorism and “regime change” have affected Canadian government policy.
But Canada is continuing to assist the bombing campaign through reconnaissance and refuelling. The Trudeau government’s plan to expand Operation IMPACT, by tripling the number of advisers and assistants to the Iraqi Kurdish forces, is really a way to increase Canada’s “boots on the ground.” It also plays into the strategy of fragmenting Iraq into several smaller states.
The escalation will embroil Canada in another prolonged, dangerous and destructive war. Canadians must demand that Trudeau end all Canadian military involvement in the Middle East!
On March 19, peace and anti-war groups in several cities across Canada will be demonstrating against the continued and escalating war in the Middle East. The Canadian Peace Congress endorses these actions and has been working to organize and support events in many areas. We will prepare a leaflet for distribution on March 19, outlining why we oppose intervention by Canada, the United States, and their NATO allies. The imperialist plan for a New Middle East must be confronted and stopped! Please attend events in your area – if nothing is planned, please consider getting in touch with us – we can help you organize an information picket and we can send you some leaflets to distribute.
The following is a list of March 19 actions. If you know of other events, please let us know and we’ll update this list.
Canada must withdraw from Syria, oppose Turkey’s aggression
The Canadian Peace Congress is alarmed that NATO countries are escalating their aggression against Syria, and calls for the immediate and full withdrawal of all Canadian military from the region. Furthermore, Canada must condemn and oppose Turkey’s military action against Syrian government forces who are fighting terrorist organizations in Syria. The current surge in intervention by NATO countries will only deepen the suffering of the Syrian people, prolong the war that has already claimed 260,000 lives, and increase the risk of an expanded regional conflict.
It is shameful that, despite a grandiose pledge to withdraw Canadian fighter jets, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau actually increased the number of airstrikes against Syria. The US-led airstrikes were deliberately coupled with renewed material and organizational support to anti-government groups in Syria. Justin Trudeau’s statement that Canada will increase its troop presence for “training purposes” is completely in line with this agenda, and needs to be stopped.
Goa, India 26-28 November 2014
The Executive Committee of the WPC took place in the Indian city of Goa from 26-28 November 2014. The meeting, hosted by the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO), concluded after discussions on the threats to peace in different parts of the world with the following statement:
The World Peace Council, in its 65th year of struggle, salutes the peace loving forces of the world and calls upon them to fight together with the WPC and its member organizations, against imperialism and its brutal wars, for Peace.
The WPC identifies today the enemy of peace in the world to be imperialism in all its forms of expression, ideologically, politically, militarily and economically. Despite the economic crisis the military expenditure last year (2013), according to SIPRI, has reached worldwide in 2013 the $1,474 trillion, which constitute the 2,4 % of the global GDP. We underline that 37 % of this sum is spent by the USA alone and that altogether the military spending of the USA, NATO and its allies constitute the vast majority of world spending. The WPC demands the drastic cuts in the military budgets and the respective dedication to social welfare.
On August 30, 2014 the World Peace Council calls on the peace loving people in the world to mobilize for a Global Day of Protest against NATO
2014: Centenary of the First World War -75 years from the beginning of World War II
The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. It was one of the deadliest imperialist conflicts in human history, a tragedy that killed 17 million people. It was described as “the war to end all wars,” but today, a century later, the military potential to destroy lives and a liveable environment is at a terrifying level and continues to rise.
Everyday, all over the world, people suffer from armed conflicts, military build-up, occupation, acts of intimidation and aggression, modernization and proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The capitalist economic crisis is further aggravating peoples’ life while profits of the war industries are growing. The ground for military aggressions and imperialist wars was never determined by accidental events or personal decisions.
We Must Still Work “To End All War”
A Peoples’ Response to the Centenary of the First World War
The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, a tragedy that killed 17 million people, including 67,000 Canadians. It was described as “the war to end all war.”
A century later, the peace and progressive movements in Canada mark this anniversary by reminding ourselves that the “Great War” did not end all war. Today, the military potential to destroy lives and a liveable environment is at a terrifying level and continues to rise.
Everyday, all over the world, people suffer from armed conflict, military build-up, occupation, acts of intimidation and aggression, proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and countless acts of violence in communities and homes.
We declare that the end of all war will be achieved by the elimination of policies of military supremacy, first use of nuclear weapons, preemptive war and permanent war – the doctrines of imperialism. The end of war will be achieved by comprehensive and mutual disarmament. Peace cannot be achieved through provocation and aggression.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One, the “war to end all war”. We expect the Harper Conservative government and the Canadian military to mark this event by unleashing a full, frontal assault of narrow nationalist, militaristic propaganda. This will be carefully engineered to try to generate support for recent and ongoing military campaigns – the coup d’etat in Libya, the occupation of Afghanistan, the provocation against the government of Ukraine, the imperialist intervention in Syria – as well as for increased military spending, deeper participation in NATO and other aspects of Harper’s aggressive foreign policy.
In contrast to this, the Canadian Peace Congress is initiating a cross-Canada campaign to facilitate of 100-day peace-oriented forum for commemorations of the centenary of WWI.
The “To End All War” campaign has four main objectives:
The deteriorating crisis in Ukraine is extremely dangerous. There is an immediate threat of a regional or world war. Interference by foreign powers in complex internal affairs has widened divisions and deepened the crisis, and has even helped strengthen openly fascist forces within the country.
The Canadian Peace Congress is particularly concerned that the US, EU and NATO – the most powerful forces of imperialism – have been manipulating and encouraging the conflict, in an effort to provoke “regime change” in Ukraine and bring about a realignment of Europe in the process.
The World Peace Council expresses its serious concerns and worries about the recent discussion on a possible future presence of NATO troops (under United States leadership) in Palestine in order to “guarantee” and “supervise” the implementation of a “peace plan” between Palestine and Israel. The interviews by the President of the Palestinian National Authority and the PLO Mahmoud Abbas to Israeli and US Media in this regards, create many questions to peace loving forces and people around the world.
The ongoing imperialist aggression against Syria – in which the NATO countries, Israel and reactionary Arab states have
The Executive Committee (EC) of the World Peace Council held successfully from November 23-25, 2013 in Caracas its first meeting after the Assembly of Kathmandu (July 2012). The meeting was hosted in excellent conditions by the Committee of International Solidarity (COSI), the WPC member in Venezuela.
We recall very well the holding of our World Peace Assembly in 2008, where we declared Caracas as the “World Capital of Peace and Anti-imperialist struggle”. Our Assembly then was held under the auspices of the late President, Commander Hugo Chavez, to whom we paid our deepest respect for his huge contribution and successful leadership in the Bolivarian revolution, as a genuine leader of his people with broad recognition worldwide.
The WPC salutes the people of Venezuela which is struggling and defending its achievements, trying to open ways for the deepening of the Bolivarian process, against the subversive actions and the economic war carried out by the local oligarchy and imperialist forces, especially this period. We defend the sovereign right of the Venezuelan people to decide upon its future and wealth, for its empowerment in order to become the true master of its destiny.
The EC of the WPC met in a period of increasing aggressiveness of imperialism in all corners of the world, all fields and aspects of human life.
Dave McKee, President of the Canadian Peace Congress and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Peace Council, is currently on tour in Ontario. He is meeting with people across the province, to discuss the impact that NATO membership has on Canada’s foreign and domestic policies. Dave presents the case that Canada needs to withdraw from NATO, in order to develop an independent foreign policy that is based on peace, international cooperation and solidarity.
This tour is part of a larger Canadian Peace Congress Campaign Against NATO, and is a continuation of a very successful tour of Western Canada last year.
An Open Letter to Canada’s Members of Parliament
Dave McKee, President, Canadian Peace Congress
23 December 2012
Dear Honourable Members,
I write you as the President of the Canadian Peace Congress, an organization that has spent more than six decades working for a Canadian foreign policy based on peace, international cooperation and solidarity.
Such a policy orientation is critical in the current international conditions, as the dangerous situation in Syria continues to deteriorate and threatens to develop into a regional conflict. A number of factors have contributed to this complex crisis, but certainly one of the key elements has been aggressive interference by NATO states and allied governments in the Middle East.
The Canadian Peace Alliance, a broad network of peace groups that includes the Canadian Peace Congress, is stepping up its efforts to prevent Canada and NATO from attacking Syria. The CPA has release the following statement, and is asking people to gather signatures on a petition to the House of Commons.
“There is growing evidence that NATO and its allies will attempt to intervene in Syria to topple the government of Bashar Al-Assad. During the recent “Friends of Syria” meeting in Morocco, the US and more than 100 countries officially recognized the Syrian National Coalition as the country’s legitimate opposition, a move that may foreshadow a military attack.
“While Canada has not officially endorsed an intervention, there are reports that Canadian military forces are ready to deploy, including the Joint Incident Response Unit and the Disaster Assistance Response Team. With Canadian warships still patrolling the Mediterranean, Canada could very likely join a naval campaign.
The Canadian government is called upon to act for peace, not promote war
The Canadian Peace Congress condemns the ongoing foreign intervention in Syria and the escalating drive to war against Iran, and calls for the immediate withdrawal of all Canadian, NATO and foreign mercenary forces from the region. We further call upon the Conservative government of Stephen Harper to restore and normalize its diplomatic relations with Syria and Iran, and to re-orient Canadian foreign policy toward peace, international cooperation and solidarity.
Dear sisters, brothers, comrades and friends,
It is my pleasure to bring you solidarity greetings from the Canadian Peace Congress. We want to thank and congratulate our host, the Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council, for preparing this Assembly and allowing all of the peace and anti-imperialist forces of the world to gather for this important meeting. We also salute the people of Nepal, whose continued progressive struggle has brought about the change from a monarchy to the Federal Democratic Republic, along with many other important social and political developments in recent years.
As well, we want to thank the General Secretary and President of the WPC, for their committed and excellent leadership over the past 4 years since our last assembly in Caracas, and the Greek Peace Committee for continuing to provide the Executive Secretariat and headquarters.
This Assembly of the World Peace Council convenes at a critical moment for peace and progressive forces worldwide. Since our last Assembly in 2008, the global capitalist crisis has continued and deepened, and competition for resources, markets, influence and profits has grown much more fierce and desperate. In an effort to overcome the crisis and avoid economic collapse, capitalist countries are attacking the social, economic and political gains won by the working class over many decades of struggle.
Fighter Jet Program Also Used For Nuclear Weapons Development
Opposition to the Harper government’s proposal to purchase 65 F-35 fighter jets has been consistent and growing. Most of it is focused on the related issues of costs and corruption that are associated with the procurement. This is critically important – military spending should always be conducted in an open and transparent manner, and it must be justified in the context of broader public spending. In an era of high unemployment, deep cuts to social programs and harsh austerity programs that target working people, Harper’s intention of spending billions of dollars on fighter jets is thoroughly offensive, and it needs to be confronted and opposed by the largest possible mobilization of people.
The F-35 program is driven by the United States military and its NATO allies. In 1997, Canada signed onto the Joint Strike Fighter program, which was developed as a vehicle for the United States to capture international funding for a replacement jet fighter. Canada’s initial investment in 1997 was $10 million. In 2001 the JSF contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin, who developed what is now known as the F-35. By 2010, the international procurement process was underway and Stephen Harper announced that Canada would purchase 65 fighter jets, through an untendered purchase.